Disclaimer: I don't own the Hollows – I wish I could steal them but KH keeps them under lock and key .
Is it a bird? No
Is it a plane? No
My god it's a chapter!
Hopefully you haven't fainted from shock. Thank you to Agmartin40 for being my beta, any mistakes left are down to me. And to everyone who has left a review I would just like to say thank you and you're awesome. If I can stay motivated, the next chapter (which so far I think might be the best) will be posted by the 10th of February.
Previously on heartbreaker
"No…" Ivy couldn't die, she was meant to live forever, the stupid risks I took weren't meant to drag her down and now, now I was going to live forever and be alone. No Jenks, no David, no Serena or Cali and now… no Ivy, the only people I would have to talk to would Al and Newt. "You can't die, you cant."
Jenks' wings buzzed in the stillness that met my words.
"I can't, I don't know if I can save your soul and if I don't – how can I live knowing it was my fault you died."
"You won't have to worry about that, if Ivy commits suicide, then I will kill you."
"You can't kill a demon, I'll be alone forever."
Back to life, back to reality, Back to the here and now
The soft sound of falling water was all pervasive inside the kitchen. My mother glanced towards the bathroom before talking. "Demons saved you out of the goodness of their hearts because she asked?"
"Rachel is the first demon child in over 5,000 years. They are inclined to spoil her." She absorbed that with a regal tip of her head . Every inch of my mother from the tips of her jimmy choo shoes to the Prada hair clip keeping her hair in perfect place, emphasised the money and power she had access to.
"Still demons are hardly known for their altruistic acts, I fail to see the appeal to them of helping her, even if she is a lost daughter."
I hesitated. Anything to do with demons carries an inherent risk and revealing much of what I had learnt seemed unwise. Carefully I measured my words. "There are very few females." I gave my parents a slight shrug, hoping to head off any questions about demon diversity. " and that gives her influence and notoriety. The spell she wanted for me is common. Currying her favour was worth it to the demon she dealt with."
My parents exchanged a pensive look "Are they expecting her to live in the Ever After?"
I shook my head "No, not expecting it but I got the impression they are trying to convince her to do so." I had no idea if Newt wanted her over there or not but the suggestion would help alleviate their suspicions of Rachel's dealings in the Ever After.
"Will she retain her aura?" My father watched me carefully as he posed the question. Where my mother was grace and power, my father was worn and tired. He refused to allow my mother to feed from anyone other than him, and it was costing him dearly. I don't really know how Erica stands seeing him throw his life away due to his pride.
"That's not important." Rachel would never be my father, I didn't want her to be.
Eyebrows raised and mouths curled as my parents absorbed that response.
"I beg to differ your mental and physical health are the only things that are important."
"No, mother. They're really not." My tone brooked no argument. I wanted this conversation over with now, not least because Rachel had just turned the shower off.
My mother's eyes narrowed at me.
"Look..." my father sighed as he diverted our attention from each other, playing the referee "We're on the verge of war, we need to figure out how we're going to deal with the problems we have, not create more. We need to decide what we're going to do next."
"No, we don't dear, at least not yet. We need to move before Rynn or someone equally unwelcome arrives at the door."
My father nodded interrupting me before I could ask "There's a warrant out for you and your witch for leaving the hospital without permission." Comprehension flowed through me. Since the angel virus outbreak killed millions, leaving the hospital without a signed AMA (against medical advice) was a serious offence with specialist police squads dedicated to dragging people back to hospital. Not to mention they can fine you to within an inch of your life. "We can decide on our actions in the car."
Reluctantly I nodded my agreement, my mother was right. For the moment we were better off on the move.
Rachel's arms were crossed as she stared blankly at the heavily tinted windows. The windows, designed to provide protection for the undead cost more than our church. Only the undead and some living vampires could see out of them. I watched her stare at her own reflection, the past few days had clearly taken their toll. Bruises so purple they could be mistaken for black littered her skin, but it was the quietness, the easy acquiescence that worried me. Not to mention her near breakdown in the kitchen over the idea of my inevitable death. She seemed to huddle in her seat, hair still damp from the shower I had forced her to take while I dealt with my parents. The choice of baggy sweat pants and hoodie succeeded in only making her look more vulnerable I hoped that Jenks had persuaded her to pack something else, anything else, in her overnight bag. If Marissa had succeeded where everyone else had failed, if she had broken Rachel's will … My teeth snapped together.
Ignoring my mother's raised eyebrow, I grabbed a cookie out of the limo's small fridge. My father's recipe wasn't my favourite, raisins have no place in a civilised world. Still I didn't have to eat it this time. Gently I rested my hand on her knee, she inhaled sharply and her body tensed. Wide eyes met mine, following as mine dropped to the cookie, a moment passed and then, a hesitant hand reached out taking my offering. I leaned back into my seat, the cookie was examined for a moment and the lack of words, of protests and half hearted refusals began to worry me.
Emerald eyes looked at me, "No spiking my drinks."
"Fine." I can always dose your food. "We're almost at the hospital, you will eat another one once we've finished here." She grimaced, her expression turning insolent and my heart soared at the proof she wasn't broken. With a heavy sigh Rachel bit into the cookie, the corners of her mouth hinting at a smile. Soft lips parted, a supple pink tongue slipped out to meet the dosed cookie, drawing it in before teeth and lips took it prisoner.
"If you could please try to focus" my fathers words had the desired effect, tearing me away from the intoxicating sight. I knew they could both smell my arousal but I felt no desire to blush, they had found me in far more compromising positions in the past. Calculation was written across my mother's face, fists clenching I chocked down the urge to claim, to bite what was mine. "What do you plan to do once we reach the hospital? Your mother and I have been unable to get the warrants issued for both of you for leaving the hospital without obtaining an against medical advice certificate lifted. Cormel's lawyers got involved."
The urge to bite rushed to the surface, stroking me, calling to me to feel, to fill the emptiness, to feel warm again. A warmth only Rachel's aura contained, it would protect her, she would be safe by my side, happy, never straying. Tilting my head back, eyes closed I focused on my breathing.
In – redwood, brunt amber, a hint of honeyed maple fear. The light incense and pine of my father, the deep sandalwood and burnt nag champa of my mother.
Out – There's no danger
In – vampires mixing with my witch,
Out – no vamp is touching her, she's safe
In – a shift in air currents.
Out – there's no need to bite.
In – a hand touching my leg,
My head snapped forward and my eyes landed on Rachel. Nothing was said as she gently stroked my leg, the honey maple of her fear had disappeared. I stared unerringly at her, trying to read her soul.
Where did I stand with Rachel now? Had she really asked me out, did it mean anything or was it a way of making herself feel safer after Marissa touched her. I tilted my head to the side as I watched her sit back in her seat, hand gently trailing along my thigh. I wanted to grab that hand and put it back on my leg where it belonged.
Vampires are possessive, what is ours, we own. No questions, no divorce, no second thoughts. No say. I could give her a say, could give her control. When she wasn't thinking other things, she was dominant enough to make me beg her. even Kisten had wanted to treasure her, wanted her as an equal. She was so rare, special, there was no agenda. She was my friend. I could treat her as an equal but I could never give her up… My eyes played over her tired form. If she thought there was any going back, any changing her mind that I could accept, she was wrong. So very dangerously wrong.
I had played the house cat. Waited for her, if she was honest about wanting me and after that ritual in the ever after, I felt more hopeful than I had since we found Kisten's killer. The car carried on it's journey in silence. We would be spending the night, what was left of it anyway after a quick visit to the hospital, at my parents and I heavily suspected mother would try to force the two of us to share a room. There were plenty of spare rooms, so in the end she wouldn't be able to get her way but I couldn't help but be curious about how Rachel would react.
Doctor Mape's office was tucked away on the third floor. Only my candy striper knowledge of the hospital allowed me to take Rachel there without having to ask the way. We didn't bother trying to sneak in. I doubt very much that anyone expected us to be strolling in except perhaps Rynn. However, he was unlikely to bother attacking me here when it was virtually guaranteed I would wake for my second life.
"Hell – oh " Mape took her hands off the keyboard and leaned back, the ancient looking leather chair protesting its treatment. "Well, I can honestly say this is unexpected. Would either of you care to tell me how it is that you aren't both dead in a ditch somewhere? Or maybe you'd like to start by telling me how it is you did something I am told is only possible for the most advanced ley line witches, and none of them would ever dare to travel the lines at night." Her simmering anger made me want to smirk, it was laughable really that she thought her righteous indignation and job, entitled her to answers .
"Err..." Rachel looked as if she had been hit with a two by four, clearly her attitude was more effective on worn out witches. I probably should have left in the car, but there was a part of me that couldn't leave her alone with other vampires. Even if they were my family.
'That is because you are beginning to learn a master cannot trust their minions with some treasures, Ivy girl.' No not now, I wont indulge my insanity I need to fix this. He laughed. The rich sound raising goosebumps on my skin. 'Then fix it, Ivy girl if you can. You will regret not letting me help you'
Pushing Piscary's voice aside I focused on the good doctor. "I'm sure we can work something out."
The tired and ready to bolt Rachel collapsed into one of the special, chronically uncomfortable, chairs that only doctors and high school principals purchase. Shutting the door firmly behind me, I kept eye contact with the good doctor as I reclined into the chair next to the Rachel. "You need to sign the documents granting the AMA and rescinding the warrant out against us both."
Her lips curled "I would much rather have my questions answered."
And I would much rather have some one bind you so you cant cause problems. So neither of us is getting what we want. Given that I couldn't say that out loud, I went with something more polite instead. "There are some questions no one can afford the answers to."
She nodded, "True. However, there are some questions that people cannot afford to have asked. Ms Morgan has quite the press following since her appearance sans clothes on national TV."
"Questions like that ca–"
"Oh, turn take it already." Rachel slumped forward, her forehead knocking against the table. "Magic. The answer is magic. I took a risk, jumped Ivy through the lines and healed her."
"I may not be a witch Ms Morgan, but I'm not stupid. There is no spell that could have repaired the sheer level of damage she sustained, and have her prowling around right as rain twenty-four hours later." She looked from the clearly exhausted witch still resting her arms and head on the desk, to me, her eyes narrowing. "I have plenty of time, and the two of you are going to stay here enjoying the hospital's hospitality until I know just what happened. We'll start with a thorough examination and a good nights sleep in the high security ward." The chair groaned once more as she reached for the phone.
"Look ok, it was a spell. Just, not a witch spell." Rachel responded before I had chance, her voice muffled as she spoke to the floor.
"Rachel!" my voice whip tight, lashed out at the unbelievable stupidity of what she was admitting.
"Ah so you went to the demons. There must be something very special about you indeed, why did they simply not take your soul? I saw the marks last time Ms Morgan, there's no way you could have bargained for a spell to save Miss Tamwood without losing your soul."
Rather then wait for Rachel to answer I hurried to respond, not trusting her to keep herself out of trouble. "Rachel did not bargain with the Demon. Due to a confluence of events outside of her control Rachel acquired demon marks. I was saved without demon intervention by someone who owned Rachel a favour."
Human eyes watched me closely assessing me. I was curious what her next move would be. "I think somewhere along the lines you've misunderstood me." She sighed heavily "I care about saving lives. When Rachel survived the banshee attack, I saw a chance to save lives. Let the banshees live and thrive once more without killing, and now you both survive attacks, which at the very least should have left you bed bound for weeks, I see a way to save lives. There is something about both that offers me the chance to save people, perhaps whole races, if I can figure it out. That is the only morality I care about. Now I have two choices. I can listen to you, obfuscate and mislead me or I can call Mister Cormel and agree to his deal."
Internally, I grimaced in annoyance. I really should have been gagging Rachel instead.
"Cormel doesn't know anything, he can't cast the curses only I can." If I hadn't spent my childhood under the care of Piscary I probably would have groaned, as it was, I could feel a headache developing. One look at Mape's face and I knew this was going to be trouble.
"Oh and why is that Ms Morgan?"
"I can perform demon spells."
I hissed at her revelation. Her head tilted to the side, still resting on the desk, green eyes met mine "The council already knows, it's going to get out anyway."
I ground my teeth biting back my retort, it was as if she had no idea of the danger she was risking.
"How is it you're able to cast demonic spells?"
"Your guess is as good as mine."
I discreetly let out a breath of relief, at least the witch had enough sense not to admit to being genetically modified. "You have your answer, now if you could hand over the medical discharge we will be on our way."
Mape lean back in her chair carefully, shrewd eyes met mine. "I'm still considering whether or not to take Mister Cormel's offer, you really haven't answered all my questions."
Rachel's head came up off the desk, a look of concern in her eyes as she turned to me briefly. I let my hand rest on her shoulder. The tentative, friendly, barely there touch, a habit gained over the past months where any kind of contact between us was rare. "Rachel, if she was going to take his deal, she would have already."
"Yes. Oh." she turned slumping once more, hiding her head in the curl of her arms.
"Don't be too sure of what I have or have not decided. My preference is to work with Ms Morgan, but Mister Cormel's offer is reasonable. Vivisection has a long history of producing results." The words were calm, cool, she meant every word.
My hand was round her throat as the leather chair over balanced sending us crashing to the ground, a hunting growl sounded low in my throat. Her blood was mine.
"Ivy. Oh God, Ivy stop it."
My nose tickled the doctor's ear as I drew the scent of her fear and arrogance into me. My tongue ghosted her skin seeking the perfect spot, enjoying how every tiny touch sent her fear skyrocketing. I stretched it out, gently kissing the spot prolonging the moment before I bit revelling in her rabbit heartbeat.
My head was yanked painfully pack, I turned my jaw snapping at the interruption. My ire cooled as I realised it was Rachel even as my desire to protect her from the threat failed to abate. Our eyes locked I struggled, wavering between desires. Rachel's gaze stayed firm, and eventually with one drawn-out breath I sway towards her. Her hand dropped from my hair and I rose off the floor.
I walked to the corner of the room, arms crossed, eyes closed , my back to Mape. I listen to her scrape herself together and pull up the chair. I longed for her blood. And for the first time in a very long time, I longed to drain her dry, the feel her dying by my fangs, to know once more, without question that I controlled life and death. Her death, Rachel's life.
"A good doctor is always looking for ways to save people. I treat anyone who needs it because I believe that it is not my job to judge the worth of someone's life. Would the curse you used to save Ivy's life save anyone or just someone with physical trauma?"
Rachel's voice was surprisingly steady as she answered. "I'm not sure, it returns them to perfect state. It's healed malformed limbs that were injured years before. From what I know it rebuilds you based upon your genetic code." I could hear the shrug in her voice at the end.
"So it likely doesn't work on genetic diseases, interesting." I kept my eyes locked firmly on the wall in front of me, wishing the room was bigger. Wishing that the scent of her, of that delicious, delicious, blueberry fear would dissipate more quickly, who the fuck has an office without a window? "Ten times. You perform the curse that saved Ivy ten times for me no questions asked, in return, I'll give you permission to leave the hospital."
"No," I said it quickly before Rachel could agree "Ten times is too many. She will perform it three times and in return you will sign the permission form and remained silent regarding how they were healed."
"Three. Each spells takes a toll on Rachel, three is more than fair."
"She's right, three is fair one for each AMA release and one for your silence, and I can't do them today."
"I'm too tired and I don't have the potions I need."
"Very well. 6pm tomorrow, if you're not here by then and ready to heal the first person, I will hold a press conference outing you as a medical wonder and possible demon."
"But –" Rachel spluttered as I started counting to ten.
"I don't care about the truth, the panic that will cause is enough to make you turn up. As a sign of good faith I will sign the AMA forms for you."
"Fine." I could live with those terms even if I hated them it dealt with the immediate problem and I still had the issue of Marissa's family to deal with tonight. We needed to get to my parents house. I needed to get away from the temptation of Mape's throat.